A/N: Hey! Long time no see! I'm still around, and here's proof. :) This story is based off of Random_Ship E's adorable picture of baby Batman and Joker. (Look it up if you haven't seen it. You'll definitely "Awww". This is fluffy, with a little seriousness in the middle. Just squeaking in for the 2019 #CastleHalloweenBash. I hope you enjoy!
Kate jolted awake. She was on the couch where she had been watching the old Batman tv show with the twins.
Who were now nowhere in sight.
Kate smashed her face into the couch cushion and sighed. She hauled herself off the couch and went in search of her boys.
No, not in the master bedroom or bath. A little surprising, both Jake and Reece loved taking turns being Han Solo in carbonite and the other 'rescuing' him from Boba Fett.
But on the other hand, maybe not so surprising. They weren't bored with Star Wars or anything, but the two had been on a Batman kick ever since Castle brought home the complete '66 series on DVD. They'd seen artwork from the newer animated series' – though Kate drew the line at letting them watch – "They're three, Castle. I know they're cartoons and seem not quite as dark as the live action movies, but let's not risk nightmares just yet."
She was speaking mostly of Reece, her sensitive little boy, but she knew it was hardly fair if Jake got to watch but not Reece. Besides, Jake had had some pretty spectacular nightmares of his own after watching something a little too scary. Kate finally realized why "I told you so" was her mother's favorite phrase.
"Reece? Jake?" Kate called.
That meant they were doing something they weren't supposed to be doing.
And they knew it.
"Jacob Roy and Reese James!"
That usually got them. It wasn't quite full names, but close enough the twins knew she meant business. When "Castle" came into it, they knew Mama was going to blow a gasket.
Kate wasn't *quite* there yet. She was willing to go a little easy, since they were both getting over bad colds and Reece was still a little feverish. But still, they were going to get a good talking to and separate time outs for disappearing and scaring her half to death.
A quick trip around the downstairs turned up no little boys jumping out to surprise Mama. She checked the guest bathroom downstairs and even opened the washing machine and dryer to make sure they hadn't gotten stuck inside.
She shuddered at the memory of the nanny in the dryer case all those years ago.
Kate ran up the stairs, quickly and quietly. She didn't know if it made her a bad mother or not, sneaking up on her children, hoping to catch them in the act – not that falling asleep on the couch with two rambunctious three-year-old's didn't.
She could already feel Castle's glare just thinking about that.
"You're a great mother, Beckett. Don't you dare forget it."
Yeah, right. And falling asleep on the couch with two sick little boys certainly didn't make her a bad mother.
Kate tiptoed softly down the hall to the boys' room. Hopefully they'd just come up to play and fell asleep. Wouldn't be the first time.
Nope, not there. Shit. Now she was getting worried. Reece and Jake were too quiet. And Castle was out with Lily and Alexis choosing pumpkins to carve for Halloween, so he couldn't help hunt.
Speaking (thinking?) of Alexis, Kate next moved to her room. The boys weren't allowed in it, but that hadn't stopped them before. They were their father's sons with all the mischief they got into.
The door was locked, which could be a good or a bad thing. She knocked gently.
"Jacob, Reece?" she called softly, not wanting to scare them if they'd accidently locked themselves in.
She knocked again, a little louder this time. Still no answer so Kate was convinced they weren't in there. They'd be crying by now if they were stuck.
And come to think of it, Alexis mentioned yesterday that she was going to start locking her door since she'd started Christmas shopping.
A quick peek in the bathroom gave her a clue.
The boys had been in there, and had gotten into Alexis' makeup. The drawer was open and had been rummaged through, though to be fair, Kate didn't keep her makeup drawer particularly neat, and it was just as likely Alexis didn't either. But this mess was something else again.
That left one more bedroom. Lily's... Formerly Martha's room. Formerly Martha's room that still had a lot of her old stage clothes and makeup which Lily loved. The boys did too, but like Alexis' bedroom, Reece and Jake weren't allowed. However, the siren call of dressing up was sometimes too tempting.
She blamed Castle for that (good naturedly, of course). His love of cosplay and Halloween was inherited by all the kids. She just hoped the twins hadn't made too big of a mess – wherever they were.
Instead of knocking, Kate pressed her ear to the door.
"'Kay, I cweaned my hands on the towel again."
Again? That could definitely be an uh-oh.
"Wook at the stwipes I made!"
Another voice, another giggle.
"White on top of gween! Too bad it not on paper, it could go on da fwidge."
"Mommy will be pwoud I used this towel, I got it out of the bottom drawer."
Well, that was good. The bottom drawer was the rag drawer. Kate cracked the door open and the voices became clearer.
"Wet me get my mask on and then I'll put wipstick on you."
Kate blinked. It was time to crash this party. She pushed the door open wider...
And stifled a laugh.
Batman (Kate thought it was Jake) was putting lipstick on the Joker. Both boys had done a good job of getting their respective costumes on, and Reece didn't seem upset about not being Batman – they'd been arguing about who got to be who since they bought the costumes.
Wait... White on top of green? Oh, no. Jake had put Lily's Wicked Witch of the West green makeup in Reece's hair. Kate had been meaning to go back to the Halloween store for some spray on hair dye, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, so apparently the twins had decided to make do with what they had.
Lily was not going to be pleased. She'd bought that makeup with her own money. And the twins had been getting annoying (Lily's word) for awhile now. The 7-year-old was going to go ballistic. Not to mention it was going to take forever to get it all out of Reece's hair. And Reece in particular hated having his hair washed. But damn if the effect wasn't perfect. They'll just have to buy Lily more makeup, and Reece was going to have to suck it up in the bathtub.
She sighed under her breath. She was as big a geek as her husband.
Kate took her phone out and took a few pictures of her adorable boys. Then she sighed and waited until Jake was finished with the lipstick. She didn't want to startle the two and have Jake poke Reece in the eye. She knocked and pushed the door open further.
"Hey guys, what are you up to?" she asked as if it wasn't obvious.
Ooh, Jake wasn't quite finished with the lipstick, leaving a wide swath of red across Reece's face as he jumped at Mama's voice.
"Mama!" he exclaimed, putting his hands behind his back, 'hiding' the lipstick. Yeah, he knew he was in trouble.
"Hi, Mama," Reece echoed in a small voice. He was probably blushing underneath the white makeup on his face.
Kate raised an eyebrow.
"We was twying on our costumes. I'm Batman!" Jake said, doing his best to diffuse the situation.
"And…and…and Weece is Joker!"
Reece looked at his brother as if even he could tell Jake was trying too hard.
"And why didn't you wake me up?" Kate asked.
"You was asweep," Reece piped up. "You wooked peaceful."
Kate had to smother a smile at that. Trust the son of a writer to use the word 'peaceful' correctly in a sentence at three years old. She'd let the 'you was' slide this time.
"Maybe you should be monsters for Halloween instead," she looked as stern as she could at the two.
Twin protests arose. Loud protests.
"You guys really scared me. I couldn't find you and you didn't answer when I called."
A big tear slid down Reece's face, leaving a streak through the white on his face. Jake remained stoic on the surface, but Kate could tell he was rattled.
Yeah, they both knew they were in trouble.
"And you took Lily's makeup and put it in your hair, and…" Kate thought of the mess in the bathroom. "Let me see that lipstick."
Jake ducked his head and handed it to her.
"And you swiped Alexis' brand new lipstick." Kate's frown was becoming more and more real. "What do you think needs to happen here?"
Both boys knew they were in the wrong, and they looked at each other.
"No twick or tweating?" asked Jake. Reece burst into full on tears at that.
Kate was surprised at Jake's punishment. Yeah, the boys were in the wrong but that was harsh. Too harsh for a family that loved Halloween almost more than Christmas.
"I wasn't thinking that, though if you think that's what we should do…"
"No, Mama!" cried Reece. "Candy!"
Kate sat on the floor next to the boys. "Here's what I think. You guys really scared me when I couldn't find you, you stole…"
The boys cringed at the word. They knew that Mama was a cop, and that stealing was wrong.
"Yes, stole," Kate continued. "You stole Lily's green makeup," she pointed at Reece's hair. "And you stole Alexis' lipstick. I feel better now that I've found you, but you need to make it up to your sisters."
"How, Mama?" asked Jake, just as subdued as his brother.
"First off, into the tub with both of you."
To her surprise, both boys nodded without an argument.
"Then we go out and buy the girls replacements for their things – with the money Gram gave you for your birthday."
Reece and Jake's faces fell. They'd been saving up for a battery powered car they could drive around the property in the Hamptons – Mama and Daddy would pay for most of it, but they (Kate in particular) wanted to teach the boys that instant gratification wasn't a thing – that just because they had wealth, they couldn't get what they wanted immediately – especially for the big stuff. But they nodded again without a word.
"Okay," Kate said, feeling Reece's forehead, relieved that it was cool. "Let's go."
Two days later, on Halloween, any residual anger and punishments were forgotten as Lily and the twins careened around the loft in excitement to go trick or treating. Lily and Reece were having an evil laugh contest... at the top of their lungs. Jake was jumping off the ottoman holding his cape wide, but at least he was quiet about it because "Batman jumps quietly, Daddy."
Lily was going out with Alexis before the latter left for a party with friends. Castle was taking the twins around the building and over to Gram's and then to Grap's place. Kate was manning the door at home, braving the monsters alone.
"Mama, if you want we can huwwy back so we can pwotect you." Jake said seriously, speaking for both boys as usual, Reece standing next to him, nodding. "I'm Batman, and even though Weece is the Joker, and a bad guy, he's just pwetending."
Kate smiled. Her sweet boys. She noted that Jake wasn't "pwetending" to be Batman, though she didn't say anything, and her smile grew bigger.
"Thanks buds, but I think I'll be okay. Look, I'm wearing my cop clothes." She was wearing her old dress blues. "So I ain't afraid of no ghosts – or monsters."
Both boys brightened at the reference to one of their favorite movies.
"Are we ready to get this show on the road?" Castle asked, pulling the Radio Flyer wagon behind him. Alexis and Lily had left a few minutes earlier.
Kate held back a bark of laughter. Castle was dressed as Robin. Not his usual – he was normally the superhero, not the sidekick – and he hadn't let Kate see his costume until now.
"Looking good, Boy Wonder," she teased, reaching up for a kiss which the twins promptly gagged at.
Kate grinned down at them. Her costume had caused Castle some consternation – her too, to be honest, but as she told Rick, creating better memories, even years later, was something they both needed to do.
Her soft smile reminded Rick of that and he lost the haunted look in his eyes. He turned back to Jake and Reece.
"All right, Batman, Joker, what day is it?"
"Hawwowween!" the boys shouted.
"And what do we do on Halloween?"
"Twick or Tweat!"
"Let's move 'em on out!"
Kate followed them to the door and watched them move to the elevator, to be replaced by Spiderman and Green Goblin coming to the Castles door. It was a Heroes and Villains kind of Halloween, apparently.
Lily was home and in the shower by the time Castle and the twins returned; Rick pulling both boys in the wagon and carrying their black (Jakes) and purple (Reece's to match their costumes) pumpkins. Jake was doing his best to stay awake, but Reece was out cold.
"Hi, baby, did you have a good time?" Kate asked, lifting her Batman out of the wagon as Rick stowed the candy on the kitchen table and picked up Reece. She had changed out of her costume as well.
"It was so fun, Mama," Jake replied sleepily. "I gots lots of candy."
"I see that. Let's get you into jammie's and then into bed."
"Okay, Mama. I tired."
"What about a bath?" Rick rumbled in a low voice, indicating Reece's makeup. "Our little Joker can't go to bed in this."
"We can use cold cream on his face, but we'll have to wash his hair. It was a dumb idea to keep using the makeup in it."
"It looked cool, though," Castle smiled.
"Yeah, it did," Kate grinned back. "Let me put Jake down and I'll be down to help. Maybe we can do this without waking him up."
"Sounds like a plan."
It worked better than they thought it would, Reece fussed a little when Kate put the cold cream on and wiped the makeup off his face, but he didn't wake up even during the shampoo and rinse. They wrestled him into his pajamas and tucked him in his bed upstairs.
"I hope they never get tired of Halloween," Castle said as they tiptoed out of the room.
"With you as their dad, they won't."